One look at the NHL free agent goaltending market makes things very clear, very quickly. It’s Ryan Miller and then everybody else. However, for Miller and others this isn’t exactly the hottest market for No. 1 goaltenders.
In fact, as much as the player market is Ryan Miller’s to own, on the team side it’s all about the Vancouver Canucks. The rest of the NHL seems pretty set at the No. 1 position, but Vancouver would like to upgrade it’s roster between the pipes. It appears the Canucks are pulling out all the stops to woo Miller during the free agency period.
UFA goalie Ryan Miller is in VAN being wooed by Canucks' brass.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 30, 2014
Vancouver has both Eddie Lack and Jack Markstrom signed to deals for next season, but neither have the quality that Miller could offer between the pipes.
Miller’s goal in free agency has been to move closer to his wife, who is an actress in Los Angeles. Problem is, no team in California is in need of a top-flight goaltender.
It all adds up to this being the best home for Miller, who was traded this past season from Buffalo to St. Louis after making it clear to the Sabers that he wouldn’t be resigning. He played 19 games for the Blues, going 10-8 with a .903 save percentage and a 2.47 goals against average, but the Blues are moving forward with Brian Elliot and Jake Allen.
At 33 years old, Miller proved he can still play at a very high level last season and that could make him a very good person to help in a transition to Eddie Lack as the No. 1 goaltender in the future. Vancouver’s front office and coaching staff appear to be high on Lack’s future, but he’s still not ready to take over on a full-time basis.